Some of Australia’s high profile chefs and hospitality influencers visited the Macleay recently as part of a Macleay Valley Food Bowl Industry Food Tour.
Organised by Sydney-based food tour company, Straight To The Source, among the group of attendees were the 2016 winner of Masterchef Australia, Elena Duggan and chefs at all stages of their careers wanting to learn and explore what the region has to offer.
The two-day tour was more than a meet and greet, it was an opportunity to get an understanding of agriculture and farming practices.
The group travelled the region, met with local producers and sampled their produce during visits to award-winning Burrawong Gaian poultry farm at Barraganyatti, Eungai Creek Buffalo farm, Pipers Creek Grove organic bushfoods, Sweet Water Farm, Sherwood and the Macleay River Fisherman’s Cooperative.
The itinerary also involved masterclasses, workshops and an outdoor produce dinner at Piper’s Creek Grove amongst the aniseed myrtle grove.
Celebrity chefs Stefano Manfredi and Clayton Donovan and local chef Lloyd Newell from Kempsey-Macleay RSL Club were all involved at various points of the tour to share their love for the Macleay Valley and its produce.
Straight To The Source also created an industry glamping campsite where the group were able to cook together early in the morning over an open fire.
Senior Corporate Executive Chef, Cerebos Foods Asia Pacific, Adam Moore, was among those who attended and was highly impressed by the variety of produce in the Macleay Valley.
“The tour opened my eyes to a whole new region to be truly proud off. We need to unlock the door to the Macleay Valley Food Bowl and start to use the produce in our kitchens and across our menus."
Council’s Economic Sustainability Officer, Kristy Forche-Baird, said the visit had helped promote the work of the Food Bowl while positively promoting the region as a high-quality food-growing destination.